Saturday, May 15, 2010

Simplicity or just Common Sense?

The Recession has hurt a lot of people. It's cost jobs for some, income loss for others and for all of us we've taken a new look at our lifestyles. I speak for myself when I say it's been awhile since I had to budget our money. That's not to say I wasn't being careful. We started out with only "two nickles to our name," and fear of going back to that has always made us wiser about the choices we made. We struggled the first few years; college, new baby, old cars that were always broke. Somehow we always managed to pay our bills. Then the girls got older, hubby worked hard and one day it just wasn't so difficult. We are blessed to have enough. I'm noticing a new movement that has taken hold with the turn in the economy. It's called a "Life of Simplicity."

People are drawn to this lifestyle to find meaning in their lives, they realize a life based on materialism and consumerism is empty. It takes so much energy to "keep up with the Joneses." When we come right down to it, what gives us joy in our lives? For myself I can answer that quickly, my family and my home. So here's a list of 10 practical steps to simplifying your life.

1. Reuse paper bags, envelopes, newspapers, etc. Newspapers and shredded paper make excellent mulch in the garden. The mulch will break down over a period of time and add humus to the soil. (This is called recycling and most of us do it now without even thinking.)

2. Have a Buy Nothing Day. (This is called real life, also called too much month at the end of the paycheck.)

3. Carve some space for ‘mindful living’ so that you have time for ‘beingness’ rather than ‘doingness.’ (Being satisfied with what we already have.)

4. Find friends who know the glass is half-full or in other words, find friends who share the same value system as you do. (It's great to have friends who lean the same way you do.)

5. Grow your own food or buy as much as possible from local growers. (Gardening has surged in this recession, it's saves money...and the tomatoes are killer good!)

6. Use non-toxic products such as borax, vinegar, baking soda, lemon, and salt in your home, yard, and garden. (You don't need a lot to keep a clean house, elbow grease should be your biggest expentiture!)

7. Before you buy something, write the item down on a note and if you still want it after a month, purchase it then. (Daughter Stephanie says she "Gives the item a ride in the cart, then puts it back." Isn't that a funny way to decide if you really need something?)

8. Decide what is really working in your life and let go of that which no longer serves you. (All of the things the world says you "have to have," review what YOU really need and eliminate the rest.)

9. Surround yourself with what you really need and love. (That one's easy, family and a place to lay my head down at night!)

10. Go Organic. Organic gardening is not only about the avoidance of chemicals, but in the larger picture, it is organic living using Nature’s laws. (If you're not a gardener...Farmer's Markets are a great way to stimulate the local economy, improve your diet and go organic without paying high grocery store prices.)

Use it up, wear it out, make it do...
good advice then and now!


  1. Great post, Joycee! I've done all of those 10 items ever since long ago. Maybe you can check out my following details to help others.

    Have a great weekend, Joycee!
    Blessings, Kristy

  2. We should all live by that even now...we have too much! Come say hi :D

  3. Just this week I did a post about Living in Cars. I seen an old woman who appears to be living in her car while we were out. She came into the place with a big cup, toothbrush, toothpaste and a towel and went straight to the restroom. That was such a sad sight to see and it really has changed me by seeing in first hand. We too were poor when we first married. We couldn't even afford a phone and I'm not talking about cell phones! I'm talking about a phone in the house. I don't want to go back to those days. Don't get me wrong we had a wonderful time when we were poor but now I have kids.

    We do garden but the rabbits and deer or even the drought end up getting most of it.

  4. "shredded paper make excellent mulch in the garden. The mulch will break down over a period of time and add humus to the soil."

    Love this!! thank you so much
    I love finding new and creative ways to be environmentally friendly. I especially like your use ofpaper shredding.
    I’m just starting a blog on different ways to reuse shredded paper.
    This blog is definitely one I'm bookmarking.


  5. Wonderful advise, I have been recycling for years. I buy eggs from people who have hens in their yards or farmers. I return the egg boxes when I buy more. I do not waste water, electricity, and fuel. I try to be prepared to do several errands the same day so as not to be on the road several times a week.
    We will soon move into a modest, well cared for little house, and improve it by doing the labor ourselves. We are now minimalist's. My husband can't wait to have a vegetable garden, we also like to go to the Farmer's Market.
    "We learned a long time ago, both coming from big families, that money does not grow on trees."
    I hope we have made a difference in this world and can continue too do so for several more years.
    On the lighter side, I too pick up things while shopping, take them for a ride in the cart, and most of the time put the items back.

  6. is a great website for finding farmer's markets in your area, and other advise.

  7. I have certainly tried to incorporate this into my daily life for the last year or so...about the only good thing on the economy is that it has made most of us re-evaluate our lifestyles...hopefully for the better.

  8. Well what else can I add here but AMEN SISTER! You've said it all. Simplicity ... what a wonderful way to live.


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